Officer, babysitter recover from lightning

July 24, 2008 2:34:10 PM PDT
A handful of people are recovering after being injured by lightning, including a Delaware County police officer and a woman babysitting a 3-year-old. One of the estimated 17,000 lightning strikes hit the garage doorframe of a firehouse; the same frame that Bethel police officer John Carpenter the Third.

Officer Carpenter described the strike that knocked him to the ground as a feeling worse than a taser shot.

Witnesses say lightning blasted the doorframe of the Bethel Townshiip Firehouse where the 22-year-old was standing. The garage door opener and Carpenter's police radio both fried.

Carpenter, over his hospital room phone, said he is thankful for the help he got from firefighters.

Several hours earlier and 50 miles up I-95 at a swim club in Lower Makefield, Bucks County, a 21-year-old babysitter, Brigid Gallagher was carrying a 3-year-old boy waiting for an intense electrical storm to pass before making a dash for her car.

A bolt of lightening crashed into a nearby tree. The surge of energy knocked Gallagher unconscious.

A day later, both the officer and the babysitter are recuperating from their lightening scares.

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